There was a time when the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) was highly respected for its exposure of hate groups, such as those of the neo-Nazi and KKK brand. Today, however, it’s almost a badge of honor to get a place on the SPLC listing, be it as an official “hate” group or merely as an “anti-gay” group. After all, now that the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, the Family Research Council, Liberty Council, the National Organization for Marriage, and the Traditional Values Coalition qualify, it’s actually a little disconcerting to be left off the “anti-gay” list.
According to a recently released SPLC Intelligence Report (Winter 2010, Issue Number: 140), organizations are listed as hate (or, anti-gay) groups “based on their propagation of known falsehoods – claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities” and by their continuing “to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities.”
And what are these “known falsehoods . . . that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities”? According to an SPLC report entitled “10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked,” they include:
Same-sex parents harm children.
People become homosexual because they were sexually abused as children or there was a deficiency in sex-role modeling by their parents.
Hate crime laws will lead to the jailing of pastors who criticize homosexuality and the legalization of practices like bestiality and necrophilia.
Allowing homosexuals to serve openly would damage the armed forces.
(Some of the other “Anti-Gay Myths” are far more controversial, such as, “Homosexuals controlled the Nazi Party and helped to orchestrate the Holocaust.”)
So, if you state that kids do best when raised by their mom and dad, you are propagating a known falsehood and are worthy of a place on the SPLC anti-gay list. If you agree with the many therapists and psychologists who argue that a child’s upbringing and early-life experiences play a major role in the development of his or her sexual orientation, you are propagating a known falsehood and are worthy of a place on the SPLC list.
The same is true if you claim that hate crime laws could lead to the arresting of pastors who criticize homosexuality (this has already happened in Sweden, England, Canada, and the United States), or if you argue that it would be detrimental to the military to have gays serving openly. Based on this “logic,” the SPLC would have to claim that many of the leaders of our Armed Forces, not to mention some of our most senior congressmen, are guilty of the “propagation of known falsehoods,” since they strongly oppose the repeal of DADT. Maybe the SPLC will next place the entire American military on their anti-gay list. Why not?
Another alleged myth that has been “thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities” is that “Homosexuals are more prone to be mentally ill and to abuse drugs and alcohol.” Yet the SPLC report actually acknowledges that “LGBT people suffer higher rates of anxiety, depression, and depression-related illnesses and behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse than the general population,” but blames it on homophobia. Of course!
Also singled out for disdain is the “known falsehood” that, “No one is born a homosexual,” yet in refuting this “myth,” the SPLC can only quote the American Psychological Association (APA) that “no evidence has emerged that would allow scientists to pinpoint the precise causes of sexual orientation.” In other words, we really don’t know exactly why people are gay. So much for science thoroughly discrediting the idea that no one is born homosexual!
The best that the SPLC could do to provide “the truth behind the propaganda” was quote the APA’s conclusion that “most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation,” which is a far cry from saying that someone is born homosexual. Perhaps lesbian journalist Camille Paglia should be added to the “anti-gay” list, since she famously wrote that, “No one is born gay. The idea is ridiculous.”
The last alleged myth that is “debunked” in the SPLC article is that, “Gay people can choose to leave homosexuality,” yet there is substantial scientific evidence, not to mention abundant anecdotal evidence, that some people can and do leave homosexuality. It is positively chilling, however, to realize that those who make this claim are now guilty of “hate speech” and deemed to be spreading “demonizing propaganda.”
So then, rather than debunking anti-gay myths, the SPLC has debunked itself. Who can take them seriously anymore?
Dr. Michael Brown is the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio program, “The Line of Fire,” and author of the forthcoming book A Queer Thing Happened to America
President Obama has overturned the restrictions on the federal funding of stem-cell research that were set in place by the Bush administration in August 2001, when President Bush limited funding because of “fundamental questions about the beginnings of life and the ends of science.”
Our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values…
It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda — and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology…
Promoting science ‘is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it’s inconvenient — especially when it’s inconvenient.’
Restrictions from the Bush administration on stem cell research allowed scientists to work with stem cells which were not obtained through the exploitation or destruction of human embryos. Those restrictions are now lifted:
“The president is, in effect, allowing federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research to the extent that it’s permitted by law — that is, work with stem cells themselves, not the derivation of stem cells,” Varmus said in a conference call with reporters Sunday.
While conceding that “the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown” and “should not be overstated,” Obama nevertheless expressed hope that the order will help spur faster progress in the search for cures to afflictions such as Parkinson’s disease, cancer and spinal cord injuries…
Researchers highly value embryonic stem cells because of their potential to turn into any organ or tissue cell in the body. Stem cells have this ability for a short time. A few days before the embryo would implant in the uterus, it starts to develop into specific cells that will turn into skin or eyes or other parts of a developing fetus.
When the embryo is 4 or 5 days old, scientists extract the stem cells and put them in a petri dish. With the removal of these stem cells — of which there may be about 30 — the embryo is destroyed.
Several polls from different sources indicate that the majority of Americans were in favor of these restrictions being lifted. Scientists are hoping to use stem cell research to eventually develop treatments for people with diabetes, cancer, spinal injuries, and many more debilitating conditions, which garners support from many Americans. However, the ethics involved in embryonic stem cell research are questionable. Some opponents of the bill have this to say about stem cell research:
“Advancements in science and research have moved faster than the debates among politicians in Washington, D.C., and breakthroughs announced in recent years confirm the full potential of stem cell research can be realized without the destruction of living human embryos,” House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Sunday.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, said the Bush policy imposed proper ethical limits on science.
“My basic tenet here is I don’t think we should create life to enhance life and to do research and so forth,” Shelby said Sunday. “I know that people argue there are other ways. I think we should continue our biomedical research everywhere we can, but we should have some ethics about it.”
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America [says this]: “President Obama’s order places the worst kind of politics above ethics. Politics driven by hype makes overblown promises, fuels the desperation of the suffering and financially benefits those seeking to strip morality from science.”
President Obama set his “ethical limits” at using stem cells for human cloning. Such cloning, he said, “is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society or any society.” One might ask, since he has made such clear statements about science not being limited by ideology, why he sets the limits at human cloning as wrong and dangerous? Once the value of human life has been removed and disregarded for the sake of “scientific progress,” why couldn’t the same argument he is making for “science” eventually be used for what many now consider unethical boundaries?
Scientists in Nazi Germany performed many experiments on Jews in concentration camps in the name of advancing “science,” some of the results of which have been banned from being used or taught in the medical community, because of the unethical way in which they were performed. Yet many of their “experiments” were in order to find treatments and cures for diseases, which is the same argument being used for the justification of embryonic stem cell research. The Nazi ideology had so far dehumanized the Jewish people in the German culture that these horrific experiments were allowed and encouraged.
How far have we fallen as a culture, when the majority of Americans (according to some polls) no longer consider these helpless embryos as human, and their lives can be taken simply to bring possible benefits to those who are stronger and have voices that can be heard?
More information and perspective on the peace-in-Gaza rallies happening around the globe from David’s Tent:
Anti-Semitic riots and demonstrations are spreading across the Islamic world and Western Europe. Here is a partial list of events in the past three days:
ü Hebron (1,000 people)
ü Nazareth (3,000)
ü Baqa al-Gharbiya (10,000)
Islamic world –
ü Amman (2,000)
ü Beirut (2,500)
ü Nabatiya, Lebanon (20,000)
ü Jakarta (20,000)
ü Alexandria (50,000)
Western Europe –
ü Berlin (8,500)
ü Duisberg (10,000)
ü London (12,000)
ü Paris, Brussels and Barcelona (30,000 each)
ü Madrid and Seville (100,000 total)
In London 2,000 violent demonstrators were stopped by police before they attacked the Israeli embassy, with 15 arrests. Outside of Paris 2 Molotov cocktails were thrown at a Jewish synagogue Sunday night at Seine-Saint-Denis, while a Toulouse synagogue was rammed by a flaming car last week. In Brussels violent mobs overturned cars and broke shop windows.
In Milan white sheets with bloody handprints, and swastikas turning into bloody Stars of David were paraded. An impromptu Islamic prayer service was carried out in the main square across from Milan’s Cathedral a week ago, and on Saturday another call to prayer was carried out across from the main train station. Italy’s Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said, “I say enough of the provocations of Islamists in Milan. In Milan, a legitimate demonstration ended in a deliberately provocative mosque under the open sky. What would have happened if a group of Christians gathered together to pray with a rosary before Mecca? They probably would have been stoned”.
In Duisburg Germany 10,000 people marched with placards reading “Down with the murdering of children”, while in Barcelona blood-stained blankets and mock dead babies were carried by demonstrators,
America also witnessed crass anti-Semitic displays. In New York‘s Times Square, anti-Israel marchers carried placards reading “Israel: the Fourth Reich”, Stop Israel’s Holocaust”, “Stop the Zionist Genocide in Gaza”, and “Holocaust by Holocaust Survivors”.
On December 30 the Israel Consulate in Los Angeles was picketed with signs including “Every Israeli committing the genocide in Gaza is a ‘Hitler'” and the swastika/Star of David morph above the words “Upgrade to Holocaust Version 2.0”.
Tampa had demonstrators on the same day who carried placards reading “Zionism is Cancer; Radiate it” and showing an Israeli flag with the word “Nazi” written on it. Calls were made by Tampa Muslims in hijabs, “Jews go back to the ovens” (a reference to Nazi crematoria).
Chicago has seen four synagogues attacked in the past three days with anti-Jewish spray-paintings, bricks and death threats. These include Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation; Young Israel of Roger’s Park; Congregation Anshe Motele; and the Lubavitch Mesivta. Earlier, on December 29 Temple Shalom in Lakeview IL had a Molotov cocktail thrown at the building.
These very serious events show an explosion of anti-Semitic words and deeds. The Director of the Yad Vashem Libraries Dr. Robert Rozett, commented, “By accusing us of being Nazi-like, Europeans alleviate some of their own feelings of guilt and responsibility for the Holocaust … Moreover, by saying that the Jews are acting like Nazis, they are delegitimizing the very existence of the State of Israel”.
The National Director of B’nai Brith’s Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Araham H. Foxman, added, “Anti-Semitism in Europe was never really rooted out, just contained”.
Though this may partially explain European manifestations of anti-Jewish hatred, there are roots darker and deeper still that have also infected Islamic and American societies.
The following video was taken at a January 10th San Francisco protest of Israel’s Gaza invasion. It depicts part of the crowd burning an Israeli flag: [Link to Video]
Here are some pictures from the rally (more here):
We’ve been looking at the reality of an activist homosexual strategy to change society in the series Is There a Gay Agenda?, and in particular the 1989 homosexual publication After the Ball from Madsen and Kirk. What have been the results of this movement in our society? Consider the following letter to the editor sent to the Charlotte Observer on February 21st, 2007 protesting the use of the Booth Playhouse for the lecture series Homosexuality, the Church, and Society:
Why rent Blumenthal for gay-bashing talks?
The writer is associate professor, UNC Charlotte Department of Dance and Theatre.
In response to “Group plans lecture series to protest gay-lesbian fundraiser” (Feb. 16):
So the Performing Arts Center has decided to rent space in the Booth Playhouse to conservative Christians who want to counter the “homosexual agenda.” Can we soon expect Klan Kapers and Holocaust-deniers Hoedowns?
Would someone please ask the Arts & Science Council why these uptown theaters are empty and thus available for hate groups? Why has local theater never received ASC support on a par with dance, opera and the symphony? This bloated organization is more concerned with perpetuating itself with fund drives than with fostering arts groups that could fill these theaters.
Are the theaters empty also because the Observer continues to marginalize theater and arts coverage? The most theater coverage in recent years has been your misinformed pursuit of scandal at the late Charlotte Rep.
How can Dr. Brown, a full-blooded Jew who has written extensively against Anti-Semitism, be compared to KKK members and Holocaust-deniers simply for discussing these issues? Consider the following look at how these moral associations have become so ingrained in our corporate psyche, with a look at the letter in question:
Be aware that much of the wider culture considers anyone that believes homosexuality is sinful to be a bigot… and thus we have lost the debate before it has even begun! We need to redefine the discussion in our generation, armed with the facts and a humble Christ-like character, that we might be able to submit a different voice into the cultural landscape of ideas.